City Manager DePasquale Submits FY19 Budget

Budget Cover

On April 23, 2018, Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale submitted his proposed Operating and Capital Budgets for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19), as well as the proposed FY20-23 Operating and Capital Plans, to the Cambridge City Council. The proposed Operating Budget of $636.4 million represents an increase of $25.7 million, or 4.22%, over the FY18 Adjusted Budget. The proposed Capital Budget is $105.4 million.

Last year, the City Council prepared new goals, which are reflected in the FY19 budget submittal. The budget demonstrates the collaborative work of the administration and City Council to address the pressing needs for current and future Cambridge residents and visitors. The FY19 Budget includes many new initiatives and 25 additional staff positions.

“I want to thank the City Council for its leadership and for its active engagement in the FY19 budget process,” said City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “The budget document released today contains many new initiatives and staff positions that are a direct result of the City Council’s collective feedback.”

The public is encouraged to review the budget document which contains the City Council goals, key initiatives, each department’s budget narrative, and this year’s capital projects to gain a deeper understanding of the FY19 objectives. Three highlights from the proposed budget include:

  • The FY19 budget reflects additional resources to create and preserve affordable rental and homeownership opportunities for low, moderate, and middle-income families and residents. To assist in this important effort, the budget includes the funding of a Housing Ombudsman, and an Inclusionary Housing Planner. For the second year, the City Manager is recommending another capital allocation funded by Building Permit revenue of $3.45 million to support the City’s Affordable Housing Trust. This is an increase from the $2.8 million appropriated in FY18. Since 2002, and through FY18, the City has appropriated more than $147 million for affordable housing initiatives. In FY19, across several City budgets, there will be $23.9 million invested in funds dedicated to housing and homelessness. 
  • As part of Cambridge’s commitment to building a comprehensive early childhood system, the City is investing an additional $1.1 million in FY19 for the Birth to Third Partnership. These additional funds will more than double the number of very low-income children accessing high quality community-based preschools. The Partnership, a collaboration between the School Department and Human Services, will also expand home visiting programs, increase professional development workshops for all early childhood providers, and expand child development and behavioral health supports to early childhood programs. Human Services and Cambridge Public Schools will invest a total of $13.4 million in early childhood education and services in FY19. 
  • In FY19, the Cambridge Police Department is creating a Family and Social Justice Unit, which seeks to formalize its social justice approach to policing and increase its capacity to serve and protect the most vulnerable populations: juveniles, homeless, those suffering from mental illness and substance abuse, seniors in need of dependent care, and survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault. The FY19 budget also formalizes the creation of the Office of Procedural Justice. Believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, the Office of Procedural Justice will focus on proactively monitoring data related to police-citizen interactions for indications of possible racial profiling, racially-biased policing, or use of force incidents. 

The long-term outlook for Cambridge continues to be very strong, which is confirmed by the City’s consistent AAA bond rating.  The City will continue to use its five-year financial and capital plan, debt and reserve policies, and the City Council goals as guides in its long-term planning to maintain stability and predictability in the budgeting process and adherence to its policies.

“I believe that the initiatives and spending priorities recommended in this budget submission reflect not only the goals of the City Council, but also the priorities of the residents and taxpayers of Cambridge. Our effective short and long-term financial, economic, and programmatic planning strategies will help ensure that Cambridge can continue to provide the level of services that residents desire while maintaining the modest tax implications taxpayers have come to expect,” said City Manager Louis A. DePasquale.

The City Council’s Finance Committee will conduct public hearings on the city and school budgets covering the fiscal period July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019, in the Sullivan Chamber of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, on the following dates and times: Tuesday, May 1, at 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 8, at 9 a.m., Wednesday, May 9 at 6 p.m. (School Department), and, if necessary, Thursday, May 10, at 9 a.m.  These hearings will be broadcast on 22-CityView, the Municipal Channel, and live-streamed on the Open Meeting Portal

Page was posted on 4/23/2018 5:02 PM
Page was last modified on 2/4/2020 11:08 AM
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